She was recently laid off and was currently drowning her sorrows in shitty beer and cheap cigars. She slammed an empty mug down onto the rotten countertop, her body teetering lightly in its intoxication.

"Another," Crea Crunch nearly growled out, one of her fanged canines exposed in a barely suppressed snarl. The bartender gave her a look but immediately went about filling her cup once more. "Fucking bastards…" she mumbled, thinking back to what had gotten her into this situation.

It was about sixteen Earth months ago. (Time was a bit of a backwards concept in Ghent as powerful magic could easily control time. However, when flowing unobstructed, it was approximately the same as the human's Earth cycles.) For the past thirteen hundred years she had been teaching Aura Studies at Ghent Academy, the best public school around. With high salary and a steady job, she thought her life was made… until she was caught teaching Berserker, one of the forbidden classes of magic because of its immense, uncontrollable destructive power.

In an almost unanimous decision, the Board of Directors fired and banned her from the public school system. Her reputation was shattered and she was now living off her life savings while trying to find a new job, with minimal success. She easily met any teaching requirements any school had, but she was sure those a-holes back at the Academy had spread her little stunt all the way to the edge of the Baronus Galaxy; every agency had turned her down flat when she knew she'd otherwise be a shoe-in for the job.

Another unsuccessful interview, another mug drained. That's how the time seemed to slip by nowadays.

She suddenly hissed, and once again tried to cloud her thoughts in an alcohol-induced haze. "Another," she called for her thirty-seventh cup.

This time the bartender did say something. "Don't you think it's time to go home, Crea?" His deep voice was accompanied by the grating sound of two cement blocks sliding over one another, not surprising as he was a rock golem made out of cut stone.

Her unfocused yellow eyes shot him a glare, "Shut it, Bott. You know I'm good on money and I can spend it however I damn well please. Now fill the goddamn mug."

Bott sighed. Crea was usually easy to be around; a little rough around the edges and blunter than the back-end of a sword, but also easy going. It was just when she got drunk that she became insufferable. "I think you've had enough," he told his friend. "I'll call a cab to come pick you up. I'll put your drinks on tab and you can pay next time."

"Fuck you!" she sneered, pushing her chair away from the countertop. "I can get home on my own." She placed her feet onto the floor and in her attempt to walk, she wobbled around a bit. After stabilizing, she sent another dark look over her shoulder to Bott before making her way out of the pub, her boots thumping on the hardwood floor.

Bott shook his head, the action causing light brown chalk dust to fall from his body and onto his suit. He wasn't worried about her being attacked, no she was powerful enough to handle herself, even in a star system dominated by hell-spawn monsters of all kinds. No, he was worried she would do something stupid between here and her home, like that one time she accidentally wandered into a harpies' nest and beat the whole flock within an inch of their lives because they 'looked at her funny.' (Actually it was because they attacked her, but Crea didn't care enough to correct the Enforcers reports.) Luckily she had ties to the Academy at the time, or else she might be locked up in The Pillar even now.

Movement at the opposite end of the pub brought him out of his thoughts. He glanced up just in time to see a brief glimpse of white and brown before it disappeared behind the door. Wait, was that a… He frowned. No, it couldn't have been. His eyes must have been deceiving him. Bott went back to cleaning the cup in his hands.


I just realized I forgot to describe what Crea looks like in this part. Whoops. x_x Anyway, please tell me what you think so far. :)